Of course you can always just make a listing on LinkedIn or Indeed or GlassDoor like everyone else. And you might get a great candidate, or you might hear nothing but crickets.

I’ve heard from several clients and others who are having trouble with this. So, my response is to think about hiring great people as a marketing campaign. –

Like any good campaign, you have a list, an offer, and a presentation.

In a nutshell –

List – Don’t look for unicorns. If you’re not getting any good candidates, try scaling back your requirements – you may be looking for too many incompatible skills and attributes.

Offer – What can you offer that no one else can? How can you make your job post stand out from the others in your category?

Presentation – Put your offer where your ideal candidate will see it. Don’t just rely on the job sites – take out an ad or post in social groups where your ideal candidate is likely to spend time.

Transcript –

Hey. Paula Williams with ABCI. Today, I wanted to talk about hiring great people. Now, a lot of us are in the situation of meeting more people for whatever reason, either the great resignation, whatever you want to call that, or quiet quitting, all of those things we hear about on the TV and radio, social media, and everywhere else. They don’t really affect us in aviation quite so much, but demographics do happen. These shifts happen and we go through cycles. Two or three of the people that I’ve talked to in the last week have mentioned that hiring great people is a problem for them. So, I wanted to approach this like we do as a marketing problem, because everything to me is a marketing problem. You know how they say, if you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail? If you are a marketing consultant, everything to you is a marketing problem.

In a marketing campaign, you have a list and offer in a presentation. When you think about this problem in those terms, think about the list. Who are you looking for? What skills are you looking for? Background, education, all of those things. Are you looking for too much? Are you looking for a unicorn that doesn’t exist?

If I were looking for my ideal employee, it would be somebody that can manage a project from beginning to end and do Pulitzer Prize-winning aviation writing, has all of these credits in all of these magazines, and can also do social media and can also design websites. I’m not going to find that, so I’m looking for some component of that or some subset of that. Then if I need to train someone, I’d figure out what are the easiest things to train and how can I find the hardest things. I’m looking for experience that’s hard to duplicate, or I’m looking for an attitude that is what we want in our team, people that are going to work really well together and have a good time with us and with our clients. That’s the list that I look for, and I have to sometimes narrow that down and pull myself back from wanting too much.

The second thing is the offer. Now, of course, we have to offer more money than other opportunities that are out there for that person. It’s not always just about the money, but quite frankly, if you have two offers, one of which is offering significantly more, it’s going to take a lot for most of us to accept something different for other reasons. But there are other things you can provide, like flexible scheduling, working at home, and maybe access to some of your materials, especially if you’re in a really cool industry like all of us are, things like that. Being part of a team, all of that is part of an offer that you want to showcase when you’re putting someone through the interviewing process. Let them meet your other people. Let them ask them questions. Be super transparent, if that is the type of organization that you are, so that they can see, this is something that they’re willing and able to spend some time with, and these are people are they are willing to spend time with.

We talked about the list, the offer, and then the presentation. How do you put your job ad or your listing, or get ahold of people who are in the right category so that you have a good number of quality candidates? You want to do this the same way you would with a marketing campaign. You want to think about where are the places online where these people are the most likely to hang out? So, if you’re looking for writers, you’re going to go to a writers’ group. If you are looking for retired pilots, you’re going to go to a retired pilots’ group. If you’re looking for work-at-home moms, you got the place where you go to find those kinds of people and to make sure that you’re referring to your ad from those places, either with a post or an image or something like that that’s going to capture their attention. We’ve seen some really good ones, like a puzzle or something that is advertising for an engineer, or a terrible design that’s says if this drives you crazy, you’d be a great graphic designer for us. Those are kinds of ways to present your offer or your position in a way and a place that’s going to really stand out from all the other job opportunities that people have these days.

Hiring great people, it is a marketing problem. Hopefully, that will help you kind of narrow things down. If you’re having trouble, it could be that you’re having some difficulty with your list, your offer, or your presentation, and that’s how we break it down. Hopefully, that’s helpful, and next week, we’re going to talk about keeping great people, which is also a marketing campaign. See you next week.